Do the Lies of the World Taste Sweet to You?
A pastor of mine once said the difference between us and the animals was that they were pushed by their past, while we are pulled by our future.
What, exactly, does it mean to be pulled by the future?
Some doubt there even is a future. Death can feel far removed from our sequenced lives, and this is not a mercy. Sometimes the presence of death gives the living a keener sense of the meaningless wind that runs through the heart of this world.
Charades surround us.
Amid even the happiest of times, we touch the shallow bottom of worldly joys and sense the charade. We’re not sure where truth is to be found or where a filling of the soul could ever take place, as gods of our own making taunt the frustration of our hearts and the Word lies untrusted.
The pursuit of fulfillment and the empty ache are endless.
We are restless creatures until we find our rest in God through whom, by whom, and for whom we were all created. Only there will we find an anchor for our existence, for the existence of the person next to us in line at Starbucks, even for the worth of the unborn.
Do the lies of the world taste sweet to you?
Yet, even as Christians we can taste and swallow the lies of the world and think them a little sweet. We can wonder if happiness is not found in a line of work or the perfect companion or a more freeing lifestyle or anything else we happen to glimpse on Instagram—forgetting that a full feed can sometimes cover over an empty soul.
It can be said that most often, that which is best for the soul is not apparent to the eyes:
For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:16)
As many were astonished at you—his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—so shall he sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths because of him, for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand. (Isa. 52:14-15)
Might we be wiser, as the people of God, to click less for the pleasure of our eyes and instead set our hearts on the eternal things which the Spirit of God supernaturally enables us to crave?
Are you pulled by the reality of a returning King?
Yet, those who know and love Christ have a firm future that draws them onward. Having found rest for our souls, may we as Christians step out into the wind of discomfort and emptiness to meet those whose hearts are aching. It may be that those who sorrow are closest to the answer and those most confident in their own answers are the most in need of assurance that this world is passing away—along with all its beautiful desires.
For there was One sent to this earth two thousand years ago as a Servant to carry the sins of his own people, and as their King to conquer all that made this perfect world empty. And he will return one day to finish making everything new.
This Christ—have you heard? In him all that is best and most joyful becomes a reality once again for all eternity.
“Give attention to me, my people,
and give ear to me, my nation;
for a law will go out from me,
and I will set my justice for a light to the peoples.
My righteousness draws near,
my salvation has gone out,
and my arms will judge the peoples;
the coastlands hope for me,
and for my arm they wait.
Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
and look at the earth beneath;
for the heavens vanish like smoke,
the earth will wear out like a garment,
and they who dwell in it will die in like manner;
but my salvation will be forever,
and my righteousness will never be dismayed. (Isa. 51:4-6)
Simona Gorton is an international operations manager for 9Marks and the author of the newly released book Better Than We Dreamed: The Story of Elaine Townsend. She writes at yes-presson.blogspot.com.
Better Than We Dreamed: The Story of Elaine Townsend by Simona Gorton
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